of Scots from 1040, the legend of whose life was the basis of Shakespeare's
Macbeth. About 1031 Macbeth succeeded his father, Findlaech
(Sinel in Shakespeare), as mormaer, or chief, in the province of Moray,
in northern Scotland. Macbeth established himself on the throne after
killing his cousin King Duncan I in battle near Elgin--not, as in
Shakespeare, by murdering Duncan in bed--on Aug. 14, 1040. Both Duncan
and Macbeth derived their rights to the crown through their mothers.
victory in 1045 over a rebel army, near Dunkeld may account for the
later references (in Shakespeare and others) to Birnam Wood, for the
village of Birnam is near Dunkeld.
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